When you or your loved one is involved in a car accident in Virginia, you’ll likely have many questions about the next steps, claiming compensation, and your rights as an auto accident victim. You are entitled to financial recompense for your injuries and your property damage, but you must also know how to exercise your rights in order to claim it.
An experienced Virginia car accident lawyer can help you navigate your personal injury claim. Whether your claim is filed only with the negligent driver’s insurance company or whether it’s a lawsuit that goes all the way to the courtroom, the personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long are well-versed in Virginia’s personal injury laws and will pursue justice on your behalf until we’ve won you the compensation you deserve. You can schedule your free consultation today online or by calling 202-960-4596.
Whether you live in the city or the country, car crashes are a part of life. From congested city streets to speeding down open country roads, the choices drivers make impact the others around them, sometimes for the worse.
In 2021, Virginia drivers were involved in 118,498 crashes, with 968 fatalities, according to the Virginia DMV’s yearly crash facts publication. This was a 12 percent increase over 2020’s counted crashes and a 14 percent increase in fatalities since 2020.
Many car accidents are easily preventable if drivers obey the rules of the road and drive responsibly. Distracted driving, speeding, following too close, and improper lane changes/failure to signal are a few examples of negligent behaviors that cause thousands of accidents yearly.
Virginia’s DMV reports that in 2021:
Data collected in 2020 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that the United States as a whole had 11.7 fatalities per 100,000 people. Virginia’s fatality rate was 9.8 deaths per 100,000 people. While not the highest rate per state, local news reported that Virginia hit a 14-year high for traffic fatalities in 2021.
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries to drivers and passengers. But whether you sustained minor injuries, serious injuries, or catastrophic injuries, you are entitled to a financial recovery that will cover your medical costs and other damages.
Some of the most common car accident injuries include whiplash; scrapes, bruises, and other external bodily injuries; broken bones; internal bleeding and bruising; traumatic brain injuries, including concussion; spinal cord injuries; permanent disability or loss of function in a limb; and loss of limb.
The medical costs for every car accident are different, depending on the injuries sustained. Your medical expenses could range from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. While your own insurance may help offset some of the expenses, you’ll need a good personal injury lawyer to help you hold the liable party accountable for financially compensating you for your expenses. In addition, the pain and suffering you endure, as well as any mental anguish, fear, or loss of enjoyment are also things you can be compensated for.
Your experienced attorney will help you calculate how much your car crash case is worth and demand that the liable party pay you what you are owed.
When you or your loved one need help to navigate an auto accident claim in Virginia, you don’t need to look any further than Regan Zambri Long. Our legal team has decades of experience in Virginia car accident claims just like yours, and we’re ready to pursue justice for you with everything we’ve got. Our Virginia car accident attorneys recovered a $10.6 million settlement on behalf of an auto accident victim. The 2019 settlement was featured in Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
Regan Zambri Long is regularly recognized by the press and peers alike as a quality, experienced firm of top-tier lawyers. Many of our lawyers receive accolades as well. When you entrust your case to us, you’re putting your future in capable, compassionate hands.
Some law firms think primarily in terms of the money they will make off of your injury claim, charging hefty fees upfront or still collecting fees even if they don’t win a recovery. Regan Zambri Long takes a different approach; we don’t get paid unless we win financial compensation for you. We don’t collect any fees until your financial future is secured.
After any car accident, you should take several steps. First, call the appropriate emergency services and seek medical care. If you can safely move, you should exchange insurance carrier and contact information with the other involved driver. Get contact information and statements from witnesses and take pictures.
Whatever you think happened, do not admit or accept fault for the accident. At the accident scene, you aren’t going to have all the facts and information about the accident. Even if it appears to be your fault, an investigation may reveal that the other driver was negligent and is at fault. If you have already accepted or admitted fault, you may not be able to successfully take legal action.
Auto accidents can be caused by more than just other vehicles on the road. Pedestrians, construction crews, and poorly maintained roads all cause accidents, and victims deserve financial compensation for their damages and injuries.
Construction and maintenance companies, government agencies, and pedestrians or bicyclists can all be held liable for an auto accident that was caused by their negligence. An experienced Virginia auto accident attorney from Regan Zambri Long can help you determine who is liable for your accident and seek a fair settlement or verdict.
Truck accidents are a terrifying reality of life on the road. When an auto accident involves a big rig, it’s more likely to cause a catastrophic injury—resulting in permanent injuries, disabilities, or wrongful death.
Nothing can truly make right the trauma of a truck accident, but truck drivers and trucking companies can be held responsible for negligent behavior that causes crashes. Regan Zambri Long will help you bring a claim against an individual truck driver or a trucking company, or both if appropriate. We will not hesitate to pursue justice and hold all negligent parties accountable for their actions.
Virginia subscribes to a traditional fault-based system for car insurance and injury claims. This means that, after an accident, multiple insurance companies and lawyers will conduct independent investigations to determine which party was at fault for causing the accident. The party found liable will be responsible for compensating the victim for property damage, lost wages, medical bills, and other applicable losses.
Drivers in Virginia must either purchase the minimum liability car insurance policy or pay a $500 uninsured motorist fee. If the negligent driver in your accident is uninsured, whether legally by paying the fee or illegally, he or she is still personally liable for the damages caused.
If your accident involved an uninsured motorist, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. Unless the at-fault driver is willing to pay a settlement, you will likely need to file a lawsuit for help recovering damages.
Fault and liability often boil down to negligence in auto accident cases. A person is negligent when they breach the duty of care they have for those around them, the breach causes damage, and the damage impacts another person.
For example, all drivers have a duty of care to other drivers, which includes stopping at red lights. When one driver does not stop and crashes into another vehicle legally crossing the intersection, they have breached the duty of care, causing direct damage to the other driver and vehicle.
While fault and negligence sound straightforward, the reality is that after an auto accident everyone will be trying to avoid liability for themselves and prove the negligence of the other party or parties. This generally leads to several independent investigations by insurance companies and lawyers to build a case to establish fault. Evidence for fault can include vehicle damage, police reports, video footage, witness statements, and accident scene factors such as debris, skid marks, and road conditions.
Virginia is one of the few states that still follows the harsh pure contributory negligence rule. This means that if you are in any way found to have contributed to the accident, you are completely barred from claiming compensation. The commonwealth doesn’t make any allowances, regardless of how minor the contribution may be.
Because of this, you must consult with a Virginia personal injury attorney after your car accident. The liable motorist’s insurance company and attorney will likely look for any small infraction to pin on you so that the case is thrown out. Your experienced lawyer will fight against any unjust contributory negligence claims so that you receive the payment you deserve.
Virginia’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident or injury. This means that you have two years from the date of your car accident to file a claim for injuries and property damage you suffered. Failure to file your claim within the two-year limit is essentially forfeiture of your right to compensation unless serious extenuating circumstances apply.
When you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident, Virginia allows you to claim for economic and non-economic damages:
To claim compensation, you must have suffered some kind of damage from the accident. If your vehicle was damaged but you didn’t suffer any physical injuries, you can file a claim to cover the costs of repairs and replacements for your vehicle.
You should always contact the police after an accident to get a report on file. Similarly, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you feel fine after the accident. Delayed injuries are still eligible for compensation, but you need to have reports and medical records to show that the injuries were caused by the accident.
The term “catastrophic” is generally applied to injuries, making a catastrophic accident one that results in catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury leaves the victim permanently and significantly affected. This could be from losing a limb, partial or full paralysis, certain spinal cord and brain injuries, or from disfigurement.
Legally, there’s no hard and fast rule or list of catastrophic injuries, but one indicator is that catastrophic injuries are impossible to fully recover from. The personal injury attorneys at Regan Zambri Long are experienced with catastrophic injury claims and will evaluate your case and situation to determine whether your injuries might be considered catastrophic. If they are, we will help you connect with the right professionals and experts to build your case and recover the compensation you deserve.
You will want to alert your own insurance company when you’ve been involved in an accident, but to claim compensation in Virginia you will file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. As an at-fault state, Virginia laws require the liable party’s insurance to cover the damages from an accident. If the driver is uninsured, they may personally be held liable for the accident.
Although you may worry that your insurance company will raise your rates after an accident, your policy most likely includes a cooperation clause that requires you to alert them to any accidents you are involved in. If you have been involved in several accidents you may see a rate increase, however alerting your insurance company will offer you additional protections, as well.
You may have coverage options to help with your expenses, even if you were not at fault for the accident. Additionally, your insurance company has a vested interest in proving your innocence in an accident—if the other driver is at fault, your insurance doesn’t have to pay. Your insurance company will work with your lawyer to help defend you against false contributory negligence charges.
To calculate the value of your auto accident claim, you and your lawyer will add up all the bills and expenses you have accrued with your accident. They will factor in any lost income (including future missed work), and evaluate the noneconomic damages that could include pain and suffering, mental anguish and fear, and loss of enjoyment. This will give you a general idea of the value of your case.
Remember that the liable party’s insurance company adjusters will be doing their own calculations to value your case, so the amount you and your lawyer come up with may not be the amount you financially recover.
The cost for a personal injury attorney to represent you in your car accident case will vary depending on the law firm and lawyer you choose. Some firms and lawyers choose to take payment at hourly rates or with upfront fees. Other firms, such as Regan Zambri Long, choose to work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we don’t take any payment until we’ve made a recovery on your behalf. If we don’t make a recovery, we waive our right to a fee.
Legal representation can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be and it shouldn’t prevent you from hiring a lawyer to give your case the best chance it can get. Regan Zambri Long’s philosophy prizes justice over profits.
Although you are not required to have legal representation for your car accident case, it is almost always going to be in your best interest to have a lawyer in your corner. Virginia’s contributory negligence standard could lead the opposing legal counsel to try to pin responsibility on you when it is unwarranted.
Additionally, you will be dealing with recovery from your injuries, sorting out your property damage, and otherwise adjusting to life after your accident. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your car accident claim will allow you to recover in peace, knowing your case is in capable hands.
You have many choices when it comes to car accident attorneys in Virginia. Knowing who to choose to represent you can be overwhelming, and that’s the last thing you need after an accident.
Your Virginia car accident attorney should be experienced and successful—you should be able to look at the website and see examples of similar cases that the lawyer or firm has won. Your lawyer or law firm must also be trustworthy. You will need to rely on them to make the best choices for you and your case, sometimes without being able to consult you first. Testimonials from satisfied customers like you should be readily available from any good car accident lawyer.
Finally, payment is a big question for many clients after a car accident. You probably don’t have the finances readily available to pay hefty lawyer fees, or you may be worried about how much you will pay the lawyer if your case isn’t successful. Your lawyer should be upfront with expectations and fees so that you can choose what is best for your situation. Regan Zambri Long doesn’t collect any legal fees until we’ve won a recovery in your favor, and if we aren’t successful we waive all your fees. You don’t pay unless we win a recovery on your behalf.
Regan Zambri Long has been practicing personal injury law in Virginia for decades. Our team is well-versed in the commonwealth’s laws around contributory negligence, car accidents, and statutes of limitations. We are well-equipped to take on your case and win.
We offer all our clients a free case evaluation so that we can fully understand your case and you can determine if we’re a good fit for you. We prize compassion and justice. Every choice we make is with your best interest in mind, never our own. Call us today at 202-960-4596 to schedule your consultation.